Mouse-coloured Tapaculo

Mouse-coloured Tapaculo

The Mouse-coloured Tapaculo, Serra do Mar Tapaculo or Espinhaço Tapaculo (Scytalopus notorius and S. speluncae) are two species of birds in the Rhinocryptidae family. They are found in south-eastern Brazil. The natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montanes.


Maurício (2005) found that the otherwise relatively well known S. speluncae actually consisted of two species, of which the southern was described as a new species; S. pachecoi, while the northern retained S. speluncae. It was further suggested that S. speluncae included yet another undescribed species, but more work was needed on that matter. Furthermore, work by Raposo et al. (2006) cast doubt into the use of the scientific name S. speluncae for the Mouse-colored Tapaculo. Examining the type specimen of S. speluncae (Ménétriés, 1835) resulted in them attributing this to a population previously included within S. novacapitalis (vocally, this population is closer to S. pachecoi). This meant that the Mouse-colored Tapaculo had to receive a new name; S. notorius ("notorius" to illustrate its problematic taxonomical history). CBRO (Comitê Brasileiro de Registros Ornitológicos) has recommended moving both the scientific and the English name to the "new" inland species, which then would become the Mouse-coloured Tapaculo (S. speluncae), while the species previously known under that name would become the Serra do Mar Tapaculo (S. notorius). Alternatively, it has been suggested keeping the common name Mouse-coloured Tapaculo for S. notorius, instead naming S. speluncae the Espinhaço Tapaculo. As all Scytalopus tapaculos to some extend are "mouse-coloured" and the use of the old English name potentially can cause additional confusion, it is arguably better to use the locality based names, with S. speluncae being the Espinhaço Tapaculo and S. notorius being the Serra do Mar Tapaculo.


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